Musings on intolerant lefties and wars on women [Commentary]

Random observations for your reading pleasure:

•When have you ever heard about a group of conservative students shouting down a campus speaker, invading and occupying a campus building or pressuring a school to withdraw a candidate for an honorary degree? Well … never. Yet today's headlines are full of left wing faculty and student demands for ideological purity within the ivory tower. All of which raises a question: Why do college lefties feel so free to engage in such activities? Aren't these young activists supposed to be the last true defenders of academic freedom?

Not really. Today's academic left is the most intolerant group you never hope to meet. Their message: only progressives allowed around here. Not exactly what a liberal arts education is supposed to be!

•I, like many of you, remain agitated about the wholesale success of the Democrats' "war on women" narrative. Hence, I just can't see how my sincere opposition to the desire by Sandra Fluke (remember the "heroic" Georgetown Law student who became a campaign fixture for the President?) for free birth control pills translates into a nefarious campaign to keep women down. (The fact that such ludicrous campaign tactics work is an indictment of every major Republican consultant in Washington.) Yet a brutal war on women unfolds daily right before our eyes. It's brought to you by radical Islam. It propagates honor killings of women. It forbids young girls to be educated. It makes a mockery of rape. And it recently kidnapped nearly 300 young girls with the intent to market them as slaves. Yet I don't see the same outrage as that generated by Ms. Fluke's desire to enjoy taxpayer financed sex, just a bunch of hash tags and excuses for our previous failure to label the perpetrators of this hideous crime (Boko Haram) a terrorist organization.

•Speaking of which, did you see where ultra-left Brandeis University rescinded a commencement invitation and honorary degree intended for women's rights advocate Aysan Hirsi? You may recognize Ms. Hirsi. She has garnered worldwide acclaim for her one-woman crusade against honor killings and other dreadful acts committed against women by Muslim extremists. The lady is not exactly a Republican mole, either. She is a secularist feminist and leading advocate for gay rights. So, why would this bastion of collegiate progressivism (formed in the wake of the Holocaust) seek to humiliate her?

Well, it seems the "Politically Correct Police, Radical Islam Sensitivity Division" has pronounced Ms. Hirsi's critique of women and Islam a bit too harsh –— and in violation of Brandeis' "core values." An astonishing moral emerges: Even beloved crusaders against rape, torture and murder need to toe the PC line these days. If only Ms. Hirsi would redirect her vitriol toward Christianity. If so moved, betcha the Harvards, Browns and Brandeises of the world would be lining up to give her a degree.

•More war — this time on chaste, religious women — is being conducted by the Obama Administration. You will recall my previous column railing against Obamacare's preemption of long established conscience clause protections for religious institutions. Now, along come the Little Sisters of the Poor with a lawsuit claiming that Obamacare mandates they (or their insurer) provide contraceptives and abortifacients to remain Affordable Care Act compliant — a requirement that violates their religious convictions.

Early skirmishes do not bode well for the administration. The Supreme Court granted a rare New Year's Eve emergency injunction to the Sisters. The order was signed by the very liberal Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Then a permanent stay pending appeal (with no dissenters) was granted in late January. Still, the Justice Department continues its war against the Catholic nuns and all others similarly situated. (A decision on this and related ACA religious liberty cases will be issued later this year.) I don't know about you, but my money is on the nuns. They might have the "X factor" on their side, if you know what I mean…

•If you truly wonder how Obama apologists rationalize even deadly serious events, so do I. Nevertheless, there are few better illustrations of "reality denial" than Daily Beast columnist Eleanor Clift's comments concerning the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens at our Consulate in Benghazi. Seems that Ms. Clift does not view the ambassador's passing as a "murder" since the actual cause of death was "smoke inhalation." Of course, the smoke was a product of exploding ordnance fired by terrorists intent on ravaging our consulate on the anniversary of 9/11. Your expressions of disbelief may be directed to Ms. Clift's attention at The Daily Beast. Your expressions of outrage regarding our lack of preparedness and serial lies about the cause of the attack may be directed to President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York.

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column appears Sundays. The former Maryland governor and member of Congress is a partner at the law firm King & Spalding and the author of "Turn this Car Around" and "America: Hope for Change" — books about national politics. His email is

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